International Women’s Day has come and gone, which means news outlets and social media gurus will leave their #IWD2019 hashtags behind and move on to the next trending topic. But the entire month of March actually marks Women’s History Month, and what better way to celebrate the achievement and significance of women than to keep the energy going? So in honor of Women’s History Month, here is a list of six moms who are making history as we speak and you should definitely keep on your radars.
Every year, the National Women's History Alliance chooses a theme for the month of March. This year, the month was designated to appreciate "women who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society" as a part of its “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence" theme for 2019.
The past year has brought us some truly powerful, motivated, and admirable women who have made their mark in various fields. Women from all walks of life show us time and time again what it means to break barriers, shatter glass ceilings, and change society through their pioneering. Not only do they manage being trailblazers, but many also wear the hat of motherhood.
Whether they are politicians, activists, health and fitness gurus, or scientists, these six women inspire us to strive.
Lucia “Lucy” McBath is a Congresswoman who was elected in 2018 for Georgia’s 6th District. She is the mother of late Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old who was shot and killed in 2012 at a Jacksonville, Florida gas station, CNN reported.
McBath channeled her tragic experience into a life of social activism and politics. She became the national spokesperson for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign as one of the “Mothers of the Movement,” according to her website.
McBath's activism work also led her to testify in state capitols, speak with lawmakers and community organizers, and lobby members of Congress, she states on her website.
Now a freshman lawmaker herself, she recently worked on bill HR8, the first gun violence legislation bill in years that the House Judiciary Committee advanced just ahead of the Parkland shooting’s one year anniversary, according to CNN. The bill McBath worked on would require federal background checks for all gun purchases, as Politico explained.
Tarana Burke is a civil rights activist and the original founder of the “Me Too” movement that began in 2006, according to the Business Insider. The publication notes that Burke originally coined the phrase when working at Just Be Inc., a nonprofit she founded to focus on the overall advancement and well-being of women of color.
The phrase has since turned into a global movement in an effort to raise awareness about sexual harassment, abuse, and assault. The mother of one was named one of TIME's “silence breakers” and now serves as senior director for the Girls for Gender Equity in Brooklyn. She also recently accepted VH1’s Trailblazer Honors, aired on International Women’s Day, according to The Root.
Christine Blasey Ford
Christine Blasey Ford, a professor of psychology, researcher, and mother of two sons, first entered the national spotlight after bravely stepping forward with her allegations of sexual assault against now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as reported by the Washington Post.
She testified at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in September 2018, despite threats to her and her family, and she described her experience of speaking out as “terrifying,” but said that it was her “civic duty,” according to TIME.
It takes bravery and courage for a survivor to recount one of their worst experiences, and for Ford to take such a courageous step under the public’s eye is a civil service many will long remember as heroic.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made history in September 2018 when she brought her 3-month-old daughter into the United Nations assembly hall, according to The Guardian.
Ardern told CNN that her choice to bring her daughter to the General Assembly was “a practical decision.” Ardern is the first world leader in nearly three decades to give birth while in office and the first country leader to go on maternity leave, according to CNN.
Joênia Batista de Carvalho
The first Indigenous lawyer in Brazil and member of the Wapixana tribe of northern Brazil, Joenia Batista de Carvalho is now also the country’s first-ever Indigenous Congresswomen to hold a seat, according to Al Jazeera. The mother of two has been hailed as a champion" for Indigenous rights and was also the first Indigenous lawyer to win a Supreme Court case.
She most recently won the 2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize for her work, winning from a pool of over 300 nominations.
With over 94,000 followers on Instagram, Zehra Allibhai is a fitness guru who is challenging stereotypes about Muslim women through her inspirational work. She is a Toronto-based certified personal trainer, teacher of fitness classes, social media star, and mother of two, according to SELF. She motivates many to hit the gym or to get fit at home, and shows that hijab is empowering rather than limiting.
"I’m realizing how many younger [Muslim] girls might not be comfortable to go out and join a gym or to go out running," Allibha said in an interview with SELF. "Hopefully, just seeing someone who looks similar to them doing what she enjoys doing — and getting her kids involved, too — will inspire them and show [them] that it doesn’t matter what other people think."
The energy that these women brought into 2019 was unforgettable. From trailblazers in politics to health and activism, these women are making history and motivate us to keep going.